There's 3 weeks left until the first day of school and we are hitting the season where the kids begin to complain, "I'm bored!"
And I am reminding myself that being bored is OK. Yes, I let my kids get bored. For those of you who are new to my blog, I have 5 kids ages 6, 9, 12, 14, and 16.
I'm not putting pressure on myself to make sure the kids are having fun and keeping busy. I'm not looking up camps to see if they just might have an open space. I'm not looking up summertime activities on Pinterest. I'm not contemplating whether or not I should create a Boredom Buster Jar.
Because I intentionally let my kids get bored.
My motherly instincts tell me I should keep my children active and entertained. It is very natural for me to want them to have fun each and every day. On top of that, most of the parenting magazines and mommy-blogs reinforce the message that good mothers have each and every day packed with crafts, outings, special snacks, and playdates. And so yes, I must remind myself that it is OK. . .actually good for my kids to be bored.
Here are 5 reasons I do not try to eliminate boredom. Actually only 2 reasons are below because this post was getting a little long, so read the first 2 reasons why I let my kids get bored today and come back tomorrow for reasons #3 thru 5.
1. Time without adult directed activities is good for my kids. Unstructured time makes room for imagination, creativity, and invention. When one (kids and adults alike) unplugs from activity and the busy demands of life, creative juices begin to flow.
Now we still have chore time, reading time, outside time, workbook time over here. . .but the rest of time I do not fill for my kids. I do not have every waking moment planned with crafts, board games, and trips to the pool.
Now 5 kids imagining, creating, and inventing leads to a more messy house. It means forts made with couch cushions and every pillow in the entire house. It means tools left in the driveway. It means kids asking for twine and empty plastic bottles.
One of the reasons I find it tempting to keep my kids busy is. . . I am in control. The house stays cleaner. There are less fights, spills, and scrapes. But this is about choosing something more important. Allowing my children to figure out their own fun and build their own creations is way more important than making sure the couch cushions don't get torn and the drill doesn't get left out in the rain.
2. Time without structure or adult directed activities allows my kids to discover what interests them. They figure out what they are drawn to, what makes their hearts sing, what makes them come alive, and who they were made to be.
Brooke likes to cook and write short stories. Anna likes to paint and dance. David builds or tries out survival techniques from the days of the frontiersmen. Daniel rides bikes and jumps on the trampoline. Jonathan builds legos or colors (hopefully on paper). Giving kids freedom allows them to play, discover, and build deep interests that are truly their own.
When I was a kid and would whine "I'm bored," my mother would always respond with, "Only boring people get bored." What she was saying is boring people can't create their own fun, but clever people can build their own excitement; all they need is their imagination.
Come back tomorrow and I will share with you the other 3 reasons why I let my kids get bored. Actually, HERE is Part 2 with reasons #3 thru 5.
I am sharing this post over at some of my favorite linky parties: Juana Mikels, Titus 2 Tuesdays, The Better Mom's Monday Link Up,